Horseback riding is a unique activity that combines the excitement of exploring the great outdoors with the keen sense of communion between the rider and horse. For experienced and rookies alike, it's so important to be aware of standard safety measures. Brush up before your next ride.
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Before Your Ride
Even before you swing your first foot in the saddle, you need to be taking the proper safety precautions. Four important safety measures include:
Even if you are riding with a group, have someone at home that is also aware of where you intend to ride and for how long.
Check the weather forecast for cooperation by Mother Nature for the duration of your ride.
Be sure to hydrate and snack before you ride. If you plan on being gone for more than an hour or so, take water. A snack or tow wouldn’t hurt either. Take similar precautions for your horse.
Wear a helmet and riding boots.
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Safety is not just about you, it's about your horse. A happy horse makes for a good ride; a scared horse can be dangerous for both of you.
Be sure your horse feels comfortable around vehicular traffic. Trail riding is an uncontrolled environment, and a horse that is uneasy around whatever you might encounter down trial can be a sign of trouble.
Double check your tack and make sure your reins are sturdy.
If you plan to tie, don’t use the reins. Bring a lead rope and halter to put over the bridle.
Depending on how long and far you intend to ride, pack an area map, small first aid kit, knife, hoof pick and a cell phone, if you have one.
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